The S&P futures are down four points and are trading 0.2% below fair value. In other words, Apple (AAPL) didn't make any real waves when it reported its March quarter results after Tuesday's close.
There were some blemishes in Apple's report. The number of iPhone units sold was below expectations; iPad unit sales fell below 10 million for the first time in six years; and sales in China were down 14% year-over-year.
Those blemishes were enough to cool off Apple's stock, which is down 1.0% in pre-market action, yet they weren't nearly enough to take investors' eyes off the prize of the iPhone 8 release later this year.
Accordingly, the fiscal second quarter report from Apple is very much an afterthought right now for the market because the afterburners on Apple's stock, which is up 27.4% year-to-date, haven't been shut down sharply on the other side of it.
The market, therefore, has been left free to deal with some immediate forethoughts that include the weekly oil inventory report from the Department of Energy at 10:30 a.m. ET, the FOMC decision at 2:00 p.m. ET, and Facebook's (FB) earnings report after the close.
Crude oil prices slid 2.4% on Tuesday to $47.66/bbl as concerns about excess supply took over again along with the deteriorating technical condition of oil prices. The API data after Tuesday's close helped stem the bleeding, as it revealed a draw in both oil and gasoline stockpiles in the latest week. Traders will be watching to see if the EIA data will show the same and whether oil prices ($47.91, +$0.25, +0.5%) can reclaim a posture above $48.00/bbl.
The sense of things now is that it won't take long for the market to discard today's FOMC decision as an afterthought. Its prevailing view in front of the decision -- and one that we agree with -- is that the target fed funds rate will be left unchanged while the directive will be of the cookie-cutter variety.
There won't be a press conference, or any updated economic projections, with today's rate announcement, which is another reason why the market pretty much thinks today's decision will go quietly into the night.
Whether Facebook goes quietly into the night will depend on whether it can live up to investors' high growth expectations. Like Apple, Facebook's stock has been on a tear to start the year, surging 32.8% since the end of 2016. That move has the stock trading 18% above its 200-day moving average, which underscores the point that the room for reporting/guidance error is thin.
Where FB goes in the aftermath of the company's report could dictate where a lot of momentum stocks and the broader market go after Facebook's report.
Market participants will have to ponder that forethought, and it seems they are doing just that based on the sluggish disposition of the futures market this morning.
Separately, the ADP Employment Change Report for April was basically in-line with expectations, showing an increase of 177,000 positions (Briefing.com consensus 170,000) on the heels of a downwardly revised increase of 255,000 (from 263,000) for March. Small businesses added 61,000 jobs, medium-sized business boosted their payrolls by 78,000, and large companies added 38,000 positions.
The services sector led the job-growth way, with 165,000 positions added in April.
The ADP Report was good overall, but because it was pretty much as expected, it hasn't moved the market nor has it altered expectations ahead of Friday's Employment Situation Report.
We're not expecting the ISM Services Report for April (Briefing.com consensus 56.5; prior 57.2) to alter things much either. It would take a big, downside surprise to do so since the non-manufacturing sector has a longstanding history of being pretty steady.
That's how the futures market has traded this morning, too -- steady -- as afterthoughts and forethoughts have held strong convictions in check.